Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) didn't hold back when it was time to spend a heavy amount on the youngsters in the auction for Indian Premier League (IPL) 12.
Punjab spent INR 8.40 crore on the rising spinner from Tamil Nadu, Varun Chakravarthy. He is 27 and seen as a long-term investment by team co-owner Preity Zinta, and also a “backup spinner” for skipper R Ashwin.
“Varun is an underexposed mystery bowler along with being a backup spinner who will add value to the team. Kings XI Punjab has always wanted to give chance to untested talent and Varun is a long-term investment for us,” Zinta told PTI in an e-mail interview. “I feel that with guidance from coach Mike Hesson, he (Varun) will be able to hone his capabilities and contribute to team’s success,” she said.
Zinta is happy with the picks. She thinks now they will be able to fill the links missed last year. "We opted a thought through strategy for the 2019 VIVO Indian Premier League auctions. We wanted to pick up players that could fill in the missing gaps and create a remarkable team line-up.
“I believe that we have a balanced side now with a lot of good options in our kitty in case of requirements during the season,” she said.
On buying Prabhsimran Singh, Zinta believes talent should be backed. Prabhsimran was bought for INR 1.5 crore. He hasn't played a single Ranji Trophy match yet.
“At the Kings XI Punjab, we have always believed in providing an opportunity to domestic talent and Prabh Simran is the new star on the horizon. The management team at KXIP does background research before bidding for any player,” she reasoned.
Zinta considers the local boy Prabhsimran a future star. “I personally feel that he is a local boy from Punjab and a talent to watch out for in future,” she added.
There is no clarity on the venue of the next IPL season but Preity Zinta is confident that her team can perform anywhere whether it's UAE or South Africa.
“We have faced such scenario in the past (2009 in SA and 2014 in UAE) and are adequately prepared for the upcoming season.
“The balance and constitution of the team are such that they can play in India or any other country with the same zeal and deliver outstanding results,” she signed off.
(WITH PTI INPUT)